JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (2024)

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (1)

Have you been noticing JOOLA's new Gen 3 paddles everywhere? If so, you're probably wondering just how good they are, and if they're worth their hefty price tag.

I got my hands on the 16 mm version of the Scorpeus—the signature paddle of men's doubles champion, Collin Johns. You can read my honest JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 review below to see if this paddle lives up to the hype.

My verdict4.5JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (2)The Scorpeus 3 is easily the most user-friendly JOOLA Gen 3 paddle. It has all the pop and power that comes with JOOLA's new tech while keeping the most control and forgiveness. This is the one I'd recommend first—over the Ben Johns Perseus 3—for any intermediate or defensive player.

Buy or pass?

Buy if:

  • You're an intermediate:

    of all the JOOLA Gen 3 paddles, this is the easiest to use and will suit intermediates all the way up to pros.

  • You like fast hands at the kitchen:

    this is ideal for defensive players who like to be super-fast at the kitchen like Collin Johns.

  • You need power and spin:

    the Scorpeus 3 offers a huge boost in power and spin compared to the Gen 2 version.

Pass if:

  • You want a lot of control:

    JOOLA's Gen 3 paddles have a lot of pop that is hard to rein in, so check out my favorite control paddles instead.

  • You like a paddle with reach:

    the Scorpeus 3 is short (16"), so reaching volleys and defending lobs can be more challenging. I'd recommend the elongated JOOLA Perseus 3 instead.

  • You're on a budget:

    check out the $180 Volair Mach 2 FORZA if you don't want to spend $280 on the Scorpeus 3.

Paddle Weight

8 oz

Paddle Length

16"

Paddle Width

8"

Handle Length

5.25"

Paddle Face Material

Raw carbon fiber

Core Material

Reactive honeycomb polymer core

Core Thickness

16 mm (0.63")

Sweet Spot

Medium-large

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Review summary

The Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 is the most user-friendly of JOOLA's new Gen 3 paddles, adding a huge boost of power and spin while maintaining plenty of forgiveness. JOOLA is one of the only pickleball companies that can price a paddle at $280 and still have a best-seller, and that's what they've achieved here.

Collin Johns is one of the best defense players in the world, so I want to start on this paddle's defensive qualities. Like the Gen 2 version, the Scorpeus 3 is very fast at the kitchen thanks to its low swing weight (110).

I usually struggle with my reaction time but I find myself winning hand battles and blocking hard drives more easily with the Scorpeus 3. You'll really feel like Collin Johns with this paddle.

Watch my initial thoughts on the new JOOLA Gen 3 paddle series:

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Power has hugely improved compared to the Gen 2 Scorpeus. I've never played with a light, square-shaped paddle that can hit this hard. JOOLA's new Gen 3 tech is working well in this department. The Scorpeus 3 has more power than most rec players will ever need.

Spin is much better too thanks to the new super-gritty face. I wish I could say the same about control, though. While I scored the previous model 10/10 on control, I'm giving the Gen 3 Scorpeus an 8 because the pop makes it hard to control. If you don't watch your paddle face angle, you can easily hit a ball wide or sail it long.

That said, it's pretty reliable on touch shots like drops and dinks. It's still the best-scoring Gen 3 JOOLA paddle on control and forgiveness, which I put down to its square paddle face and large sweet spot.

Another concern I have is the short paddle length (16"). I miss the extra half-inch I'm used to with hybrid and elongated shapes. I feel more vulnerable on the lob and I can't attack as much on volleys. Be prepared for an adjustment period if you're not used to this type of paddle.

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (6)

Brandon Mackie with the JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 pickleball paddle

These Gen 3 paddles feel even more premium than the Gen 2 models, which you'd expect given the $30 price increase. The Scorpeus 3 is comfortable to hold, with good weighting and a quality grip. You'll go long sessions with this no problem.

I love the color style across the full line. The Scorpeus 3 is my favorite of all as I'm a sucker for orange.

Overall, the Scorpeus 3 is a strong defensive paddle that's better on forgiveness, power, and spin than the previous model. It's also aerodynamic and easy to use. While it lacks on control, it's still the best paddle for control in JOOLA's Gen 3 series. That makes it great for intermediates and up, if you can afford the $280 price.

Pros:

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (7)

  • Most user-friendly of all JOOLA Gen 3 paddles

  • Fast at the kitchen

  • Large sweet spot for lots of forgiveness

Cons:

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (8)

  • Easy to pop up shots

  • Lacks reach with its smaller square shape

  • Requires break-in period

Features

JOOLA has a strong reputation for their cutting-edge technology and they've continued to impress with these Gen 3 paddles. I really do think they've changed the game once more, and I don't say that often.

Let's see what kind of new tech they're using:

Propulsion core

This extra layer of foam around the paddle edges extends toward the center to connect with the traditional polymer core. It makes the core flexible, creating a "trampoline effect" that JOOLA claims gives you "explosive power".

I can confirm that this tech is wild. It acts like a launching pad for the ball. It's similar to Gearbox's "power band technology" which you'll find on their Gearbox Pro Power. It's better on the Scorpeus 3, though, and I've personally never seen anything like it.

Updated charged carbon friction surface

JOOLA's new charged carbon friction surface finally brings some good grit to their paddles, with spin to match. This fixes one of the biggest issues I have with their Gen 2 paddles.

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (9)

The JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 paddle on a pickleball court

Embedded NFC chip

This may be a novelty feature but it's still pretty cool. You can tap your phone against the handle to unlock a 12-month warranty and authenticate your paddle.

This is meant to prevent counterfeits, though I can't see anyone making a fake version of this paddle given how advanced it is. Still, it's an interesting innovation that some people will like.

Performance

9.5/10

Power

8/10

Control

9.5/10

Spin

9/10

Forgiveness

9/10

Weighting

9/10

Grip

10/10

Durability

9/10

Aerodynamics

Power - 9.5/10

The Scorpeus 3 goes way up in power from the Gen 2 model, which I scored 7 out of 10. It's crazy to rate a standard-shaped paddle this high on power but that's how well the Gen 3 technology works.

While this paddle wants to play defense, I can easily attack on a swinging volley or putaway as long as the lack of reach doesn't prevent me from doing so. I can even mix in some hard drives and win points outright, which I've never been able to do with a square-shaped paddle.

Control - 8/10

The Scorpeus has the most control of the Gen 3 series by far. It required the shortest adjustment time for me, and I found it much less frustrating than some paddles.

My dinks feel controlled and I can land my third-shot drops pretty reliably. It doesn't quite have the same precision I get with my Six Zero DBD Infinity, though.

It's also nowhere near the 10/10 control I get with the Gen 2 Scorpeus. With the new version, it's too easy to pop up a drop or sail a ball long when the game speeds up or when you leave the paddle face too open.

So, I'm hesitant to call this the control model of the series in the same way the Gen 2 Scorpeus was. That said, while the Gen 3 paddles are all more power-focused, the Scorpeus 3 offers a little more control than the others.

Spin - 9.5/10

Another big boost with this model is spin. The moment I unboxed it and felt that grit, I knew it would be closer to the top spin paddles.

You're going to need this spin as well. I have to use heavy topspin to keep the ball in play when it comes flying from the propulsion core.

Forgiveness - 9/10

The Scorpeus 3 has the largest sweet spot and most forgiveness in the line, which is largely down to the square shape. I've had relatively few mish*ts and the easiest adjustment period of any paddle in the Gen 3 line.

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (10)

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (11)

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (12)

Weighting - 9/10

The Scorpeus 3 has the lowest swing weight of the series (110). It's fast in the hands and great for defense, as you'll see from Collin Johns' game. I like the weighting on this over the Perseus 3, which has some head-heaviness.

The 8 oz static weight is also a great starting point for lead tape customization. This worked well in Gen 2, so I'm glad to see it carried over to the new series.

Grip - 9/10

JOOLA kept the Gen 2 grip and that's a good thing because it's comfortable and premium. Plus, the gray color choice means it won't dirty like a white grip either.

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (13)

Brandon Mackie with the JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 pickleball paddle

Durability - 10/10

I have no doubt that this paddle will last a long time. The materials are super premium and the paddle has a strong edge guard.

Aerodynamics - 9/10

The Scorpeus 3 has the best aerodynamics in the Gen 3 lineup. It flies through the air and is fast in hand battles. You don't need to swing hard to get power with this paddle. The new propulsion core tech does most of the work for you with its "trampoline effect" that helps launch the ball.

Pricing

At $279.95, this is premium priced and $30 more than the previous Scorpeus. So, is it worth the increase?

Value for money

I think JOOLA earned the premium. This technology doesn't exist anywhere (at least for now), and these paddles produce pop and power like I've never seen.

The Scorpeus 3 is unique because it retains some defensive and control qualities while benefiting from this unique power technology. Judging by how well the tech works, how unique the paddle is, and how long it will last, I'd say this is a fairly priced paddle.

However, if you prefer a soft paddle that doesn't pop the ball up much, you'll struggle with the Gen 3 range. I'd recommend sticking with the Gen 2 Scorpeus if you already have it, as it has more control. You could also look at a softer Gen 2 thermoformed paddle like the Volair Mach 2 FORZA.

JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 - Pickleball Paddle Review | Pickleheads (14)

The JOOLA Collin Johns Scorpeus 3 paddle resting against a pickleball net

Professional use

Who uses the JOOLA Scorpeus 3?

Collin Johns uses the 16 mm version. He is the more defense-focused of the two Johns brothers, the PPA Tour #1 Men's Doubles Partners. Between them, they have over 25 pro titles and counting.

Anna Bright uses the 14 mm version of the Scorpeus 3. She is ranked #3 for Women's Doubles and #2 for Women's Mixed Doubles by the PPA Tour.

Bottom line

If you're a rec player or lower-level intermediate and you really want to try these new JOOLA paddles, I'd definitely start with the Scorpeus. It's the most user-friendly.

This is a great choice for defensive players who like fast hands at the kitchen too—especially if you play doubles with a partner who has an elongated paddle to reach volleys and overheads you can't get to. Finally, I'd recommend it to anyone who likes the power of the Perseus 3 but who needs more control and forgiveness.

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